Monday, September 25, 2006

Looks like Yes on I-933 does have real reason to fear the UW

First, they took out UCLA, now the Huskies are taking on another visitor from the south, property rights initiative 933.

Back in 1995 the UW issued a killer study to a similar initiative, pointing out the millions it would cost taxpayers. OFM released a study pretty much saying the same thing about I-933 last week, now Dan Woods, head of the Yes on 933 campaign is seeing shadows on the mid-90s in this rambling email:.
To: Yes on I-933 Grassroots Leaders & Supporters
Fr: Dan Wood
Re: UW to Release Anti-933 Study Tomorrow



Write to local and regional newspapers today and tell them what you think about this bogus study that was bought and paid for by the opposition to the Property Fairness Initiative. Here are some thoughts:

* The foundations sponsoring this study are run by the same super-rich backers funding the opposition to the Property Fairness Initiative. They want to buy the election, and buying credibility from the UW is part of their strategy.

* These millionaire and billionaire activists live by difference rules than the rest of us. They build their mega-mansions on the waterfront and use their property in ways that regular people cannot. Then they contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars (pocket change for them) to organizations that want more government control over the rest of us.

* The opposition is using taxpayer resources (the University) for political campaign purposes. It’s flat out wrong, just like state agencies and local governments have spent taxpayer resources to campaign against I-933, which will hold them accountable for the cost and affect of their unfair regulations.

* This is the same campaign tactic as last time. Use taxpayer resources and opposition funding to try to convince voters that there is legitimacy to the opposition message. We won’t buy it this time. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

* When the same people, led by the same person (Glen Pascall) did this before, they were discredited as “bordering on fraud.” Taxpayer resources should not be used for fraudulent political campaign messages.

* Visit to read the initiative for yourselves.

* In Oregon, not a dime has been paid in compensation, yet that does not show up in this so-called “study.” The result in Oregon is that government is considering the cost of their actions and working with property owners. We should have the same fair treatment in our state.


Last week, we filed a public records request demanding that the University come clean with documents relating to this study. We have received no response to our request for records. Failure to respond will be yet another violation of state law.

You can read about the request and the bogus study below.


Our grassroots campaign can beat back their attempt to buy this election.

Farm Bureau Demands Documents from University “Study” Funded by Opposition Groups

OLYMPIA – Washington Farm Bureau today filed a public records request with the University of Washington, asking for public records related to a planned “study” on Initiative 933.

“We want them to reveal who is behind the study, who is directing the study, and what the connections are with the special interests that are funding the anti-fairness campaign,” said Dan Wood, government relations director for Washington Farm Bureau.

“This study is paid for by the same environmental extremist organizations that are backing the campaign against the Property Fairness Initiative,” said Wood. “They are trying to buy credibility from the University and they are using public resources to do it.”

Because the University of Washington is a state agency, it is required to provide public documents, whether on paper or in electronic form, under the state Public Records Act (RCW 42.56).

“It’s an abuse of public trust for any agency to engage in these types of campaign activities,” Wood said. “Under the law, they will need to come clean with the connections to the anti-fairness campaign and they will need to show who is buying this so-called study.”

The Northwest Center for Livable Communities, a division of the University, is coordinating the study on behalf of the Bullitt Foundation, Brainerd Foundation, Wilburforce Foundation and others.

These same foundations funded a University of Washington “study” in 1995, released lat in the Fall campaign. In that year, a similar measure, Referendum 48, sought to address excessive regulations that treated property owners unfairly.

Wood said the late release of the so-called study was a death blow to the referendum, and that opponents hope to repeat the scenario in 2006.

“They’re planning another ‘October Surprise’ for this year,” said Wood.

“This time, the voters aren’t going to be taken in by their tactics.”

In 1995, the University of Washington administration sent two letters to the anti-property rights campaign, telling them to “immediately refrain from the use of the phrase ‘University of Washington’” in their ads against referendum 48.

In similar communication, University Associate Vice President Norman Arkans told the No on 48 campaign that their “wording is misleading in that it suggests that the University commissioned the study when it was paid for by private foundation grants.”

An earlier letter from Arkans told the campaign that, “under state law, the University may not be involved in any way in the promotion of or opposition to a ballot proposition.” He concluded by telling the campaign that “you are not authorized to use the University of Washington name, trademarks, symbols or logos in any material opposing ballot proposition 48.”

“We hope the University still holds the same values of abiding by the law and not being used for political purposes,” said Wood.

The purchased study in 1995, led by Glenn Pascall, was met with harsh criticism.

The Washington Institute for Policy Studies, which included Pascall on its board of advisors, wrote to Pascall and told him that the study “leaves us with grave concern.”

Cost estimates were based upon “pure analytical fabrication” and the study contained “rhetoric and conjecture without any supportive analysis.”

Meanwhile, the Washington Research Council labeled the study as “bordering on fraud” and pointed out that there was no peer review of the 1995 study.

“This is an example of academic opinions for sale,” said Wood. “Voters were fooled once by this tactic, but they won’t be fooled again.”

“Unfortunately, the University’s credibility will be the biggest price paid for this study. But the anti-fairness campaign is only concerned about buying a campaign message.”

“We’re looking forward to the University complying with the public disclosure law and coming clean about who is buying the study,” said Wood

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